Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Chewy Sugar & Spice Cookies

I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit!!  Sadly we do not have ANY snow here in my part of Canada.   Seriously, I'm sad.  It just doesn't feel like Christmas without a layer of fresh white snow covering everything. 

In order to help kick off the holiday season in my house we typically make these cookies.  If you're a long-time follower of my blog you'll know that these cookies were posted in the first few months of my blog back in the fall of 2009.  You may consider this a 'rerun' posting but there are a few reasons why I'm reposting.  First of all, my original post was boring.  Secondly, my family and I ADORE these cookies.  They are Christmas to us.  My twelve year old and I baked up a batch last weekend and needless to say they didn't last 2 days.  Lastly, is that this is a 'tried and true' recipe that has been handed down.  In my book those are the best kinds of recipes!! 
My family is also quite fond of handing non-edible things down to each other.  In our family there are two different kinds of hand-me-downs.  The first kind are items which are shared between family members because they elicit wonderful family memories.  These items could be anything from much loved books, favourite clothes, pictures, furniture etc. 
The other kind of hand-me-down that is passed on in our family is done more to get a laugh and make the other person squirm as they try to weasel out of accepting said 'gift'.  Think of it as cheap entertainment.  We're a simple people.  Case in point -- my dear parents bought a hideously ugly loveseat in the early 80's that had brown and rust coloured pheasants all over it.  Not only was it dreadful to the eyes but it added to its shocking lack of aesthetic by being extremely uncomfortable.  In our family when we're pawning off nasty stuff that's a win-win!

While I might love to get some hand-me-down clothes for my kids or a much loved book for yours truly, one of my all-time favourite hand-me-downs are 'tried and true' family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.  That kind of second-hand treasure is definitely one of my favourites.
For me, food is very closely linked with heart warming memories of my family.   One bite of a beef pie and I fondly think of all of the times spent at my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Dave's house.   A bite of Dutch apple pie and I think of my Mother-in-law and my Grandma who are renowned for their apple pies!  Tasting a perfectly grilled steak reminds me of my Dad and hubby!  And, last but certainly not least, my Mom has instilled in me a deep and abiding love (which borders on obsession) of the mighty potato and all its glorious forms!   So many wonderful memories and recipes in one family!  It would be truly devastating to lose or forget some of that "Home Cookin' History"!   Those recipes not only feed our bellies but also bring back so many fond memories ... all from a single bite. 

This tried and true 'hand-me-down' recipe that I'm sharing today comes from my friend Nancie.  At her wedding Nancie gave all of her guests a couple of her grandmother's Sugar and Spice Cookies as well as the recipe in honour of her grandmother.  I thought that sharing her family's favourite treat was such a personal gesture and a thoughtful tribute to her Grandma.
Needless to say, these cookies quickly became one of our family's favourite holiday cookies.  They have just the right amount of spice, they have a cute crackle finish on top and are chewy!  The added bonus??  They're really easy to make (which may be good news for your stomach but your thighs may not love you after the holidays.  You have been warned!).  I make at least 2-3 batches of these babies for various holiday parties ... or, if I'm being really honest, just 'cuz.   The best part?  Each and every time I make them they always remind me of how much I value my friendship with Nancie.   I hope you enjoy these cookies and make them part of your Home Cookin' History!

Chewy Sugar & Spice Cookies

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
Sugar - to garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg; beat for 30 seconds.  Stir in molasses.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add to butter mixture and blend.  Roll batter into 1" balls (or do what I do and use a small melon baller) then roll each ball in sugar. Place on baking stone or cookie sheet (leave 1 1/2" in between balls) and bake for 10 minutes. Cookies spread quite a bit as they cook.

Remove cookies from the oven and keep cookies on baking stone or cookie sheet for 2 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely.  Store in an air tight container.


Anna @ hiddenponies said...

Haha, "my old post was boring" - love it :) This wasn't boring, and these look delicious!

Nancie said...

Laurie, my grandmother would have loved this. Thank you sharing a small part of her, and me. They are awesome cookies. I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do...


Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Anna, after the dozens & dozens of these cookies that I've makeover the years I can safely say they are amazing.

Nanc, thank you so much for sharing a little bit of your grandma with me (and the online world). :). I still think that this recipe is the best guest thank you gift I've ever received from a wedding. It's literally the gift that keeps on giving. :)

My kids request these cookies all the time. In fact we're making another double batch tomorrow night so they can bring them to school on Friday. :)

April from Comox BC said...

My youngest daughter and I made these today. So simple and so yummy! And she loved rolling the little balls and covering them in sugar. Thanks for a giving me a yummy recipe that I'll be adding to my yearly must-make list.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

April - I'm so happy that you and your daughter had a fun time baking (and eating) these cookies. That makes my day! My oldest son and I made a double batch tonight (that's 3 batches in less than a week!) so he could bring some to school tomorrow. I have a feeling that I may want to buy some more molasses. At the rate we're baking we're going to run out. Happy Holidays!!

TheBookGirl said...

I could definitely relate to this post Laurie. Every year I make a large variety of Christmas cookies, but it always has to include three old family recipes, two of which were my grandmother's. One in particular, a rolled out cookie, says Christmas to my family; it wouldn't be the holidays without it.

I am going to save this recipe, as my family prefers chewy to crisp when it comes to cookies :)

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that Santa brings some snow!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Book Girl - don't you just love having family favourite recipes?? I made my Chocolate Caramel Squares (another Christmas fav here) today as well. :)

We have a dusting of snow right now but we're all hoping for a lot more to keep the 10 grand hidden busy tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you too! :)

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

No snow?! Don't feel bad - we were at the beach here yesterday running around in shorts and playing in the water! Merry Christmas!!

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